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ROCK, ITALIAN STYLE: MÅNESKIN'S SAGA,
STRAIGHT FROM MILAN

Sony Music Italy chief Andrea Rosi and International Marketing chief Luca Fantacone are feeling pretty ebullient about the breakaway success of Roman rockers Måneskin. But success comes at a price—in this case, having to deal with us. Nonetheless, the two execs agreed to speak to us from their Milan offices. Their English, incidentally, is better than ours.

Rosi says he and his team were as surprised as anyone by the band’s explosive growth post-Eurovision, which he hastens to note is happening all over Europe. At the same time, having known Måneskin for some time, he informs that the band is “talented, young and powerful, and very solid in terms of musicianship.” What’s more, he points out, “They are probably in the right place at the right time. Because I think the need for this kind of music was hidden in millions of people around the world.”

That said, Rosi acknowledges, ”They’ve broken the rules in the sense that we’ve never had this kind of experience globally with Italian music unless it was something closer to traditional opera, like Il Volo.”

As followers of this fascinating saga are well aware, Måneskin got their first big look on The X-Factor in 2017. Sony was assisting with the casting, Rosi relates, and they encountered this compelling quartet busking on the streets of Rome. They came in second on the show, for which appearance they learned to play the Frankie Valli tune “Beggin’,” which would later become a streaming smash. Though they didn’t win, they got a giant boost from the broadcast.

Team Sony then began the A&R process with the band, Rosi recalls. “We built a very strong first album [2018’s Il ballo della vita],” he says. “We had a successful tour. Then, last year we decided to participate in the Sanremo Music Festival, which is the most important TV event in the market. We made the right decision not only to do the festival but to do 'Zitti e Buoni' [“Shut Up and Behave”], which is a very hot rock song and uncommon for that festival. So this was the first time they broke the rules. And surprisingly won. After this win, they were admitted to represent Italy at [2021’s] Eurovision, where they also did 'Zitti e Buoni' and, as you know, won that as well.”

“Now,” Fantacone adds, “they are expanding outside the boundaries of continental Europe. We’ve witnessed a progressive increase in organic streaming based on the quality of the track and the performance and the authenticity of the band. But they are also engaging more and more people quite unexpectedly because they are meeting a need for more real music and doing something different in a very personal, straightforward way. At the same time, what they’re doing is very traditional; they’re a foursome who’ve been playing music together every day since they were 13. Like many iconic rock bands over the decades.”

The members of the band were themselves surprised by the huge success of “Beggin’,” which they’d forgotten after learning it for The X-Factor four years back. At the moment, Rosi insists, they’re entirely focused on new single “I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE,” for which an attention-getting video recently dropped. That cut is Top 10 on Spotify’s global Top 50, while “Beggin’” sits at #1 (and is Top 5 U.S., where the band is on Arista).

What’s next? “They have five or six festivals confirmed for August and September, from Belgium to Poland to the Netherlands,” Rosi confirms, “and then they will be on tour in Italy in December—they have four sold-out shows in Milan and Rome. We’re planning next year for another leg of the Italian tour, an extensive European tour in the spring and possibly coming to America the second part of the year. But we are planning to come over much sooner for promotion, in October or November.”

Until our next Måneskin missive: Ciao.

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